Canada is known for it’s many beautiful tourist attractions and cultural diversity. Depending on where you live, you can simply drive up there to explore the Canadian Rockies, the French Canadian culture of Québec, or the picturesque beauty of Prince Edward Island. But you will need to know a few things to make your Canadian road trip a success. So heed this advice, throw your suitcases in the back and hit the open road for that cool, clean, fresh air of Canada.
Bring Your Passport
If you haven’t been to Canada in a while, you might not know that the rules have changed. You used to be able to drive over the border with just your driver’s license but September 11th security reforms have changed all that. You now need your passport.
The law allows you to drive or boat over the border with a passport card or an enhanced American drivers license. Flying to Canada requires a passport book. But even if you have a passport card or enhanced driver’s license you still may want to bring your passport book in case you need to fly home quickly for an emergency.
Don’t Be Caught By Surprise
Canada enforces some of the most strict immigration laws in the world. Many Americans are shocked to be detained at the border. Know the rules before you go so you can avoid being caught by surprise. Canada will not allow anybody to drive into their country with a criminal record, but their definition of a criminal record is fairly broad. Any DUI on your record will bar you from the country for 5 to 10 years. Citations for reckless driving may also make it difficult to get into the country. Contact your local Canadian Consulate if you have any questions about admissibility.
Check Border Wait Times
Crossing the border can take a pretty long time. The main highways can back up for miles so it can be advantageous to drive a little bit out of your way to take smaller roads over the border. The Canadian Border Services Agency updates wait times every hour and broadcasts delays on twitter. If you do a little planning ahead of time, it can really save you a lot of headache and hassle.
Prepare For Driving In Weather
Canada has a rugged landscape that can rise and fall in elevation quite quickly. Pack chains for your tires if you plan on driving anywhere with severe winter weather. Know that you’re entering a new climate zone with colder temperatures for every 500 feet of elevation that you gain. Before you go, visit professionals like City Limit Tire & Service to ensure you have appropriate tires on your car and spare tire.
Taking a road trip can be so fun and a unique experience. Canada is a great destination to road trip to because of the stunning scenery you will see along the way. Use the tips above to cut out unnecessary stress and give you more time to thoroughly enjoy your trip.